Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Shane Sweeney: The Finding Time

While this album is not new, it's the last of my Favorite Albums of 2011 to be covered.

You've heard Shane's work on here -- he's the bassist for Two Cow Garage. I've always found that Shane's Two Cow songs serve as a potent counterbalance to Micah's anthems of agonizing self-doubt. That's not a diss to Micah -- the two ultimately create something powerful and empowering that could not exist without the combination of the pair's outlook on life. On Two Cow's albums, Shane's songs tend to reflect a survivor mentality: though there have been tough times, he's seen them through, and he will continue to thrive.

The first word that comes to mind about this album -- which is, to my knowledge, Shane's only full-length -- intimate. Though I haven't met him, I get a very clear sense of who Shane is as a person. These songs cover the range of subjects that touches all of us at our core: religion, politics, family (in Shane's case, fatherhood),  and love. The spare production values make it seem as if Shane is laying his hand on my shoulder and telling me things will be alright.

My favorite tracks here are "Yeah, Tonight" (the track that convinced me to buy the album) and "Promised Land Blues," a Dylanesque meditation on Christianity and capitalism. "Legion" and "Legion Reprise" are reminders of the galvanizing power of folk music. In fact, the only song on this album that I don't adore is "Motel Blues," a Loudon Wainright III song. I'm not familiar with the original, but I dunno -- I just don't think it's right for Shane's voice.

After you stream the album below, head on over to Last Chance Records to buy it for your bad self.



Buy The Finding Time in any format you could possibly desire.


Shane Sweeney -- Facebook

Monday, March 26, 2012

FREE MUSIC: Calling Morocco

The opening chords of "Summer," the first track on Calling Morocco's debut Outside of Providence, feel saturated with sunlight. The party anthem gives way to ballads of heartbreak, guilt over causing heartbreak, drunken rambles, and life on the road.


Punknews compares Calling Morocco to The Gaslight Anthem, which I can't say I disagree with. Kyle Olson's impassioned vocals can certainly give Brian Fallon a run for his money. However, where Fallon paints vignettes in his mythical New Jersey world, Calling Morocco sticks to true-to-life anthems. On the spectrum of alt-country-punk-whatever that Calling Morocco places itself in, I'd say they fall more into pop punk territory. Some songs, like "Longtime Listener" integrate a slide guitar into the pop feel of the music. Others, like "Truer Than That" are more solidly country-fried. The album ends on a strong note with "Home," which I feel is the most successful at combining the pop punk that Calling Morocco embraces and the country tones that they angle toward. Between the musical range and the variety of themes on this short album, you'll definitely find a song to capture your mood, whatever that may be.



Calling Morocco --Official, Facebook, Bandcamp

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Basics: Xylos

So let's be real. Looking at Xylos' photo, they don't exactly look like the typical band featured here on Adobe and Teardrops.



Namely, because they look kind of...trendy. And their music is certainly not what you've been reading about either -- I like to think of it as warm electropop. The Brooklyn-based (of course) band has worked their asses off for the past five years or so and are finally starting to reap the benefits of their efforts, selling out shows at the Bowery Ballroom and Music Hall of Williamsburg.

There is nothing I despise more than hipsters and the music they listen to. But it should only take you about thirty seconds to hear how different Xylos is from the rest of the pack. There is a warmth and passion in these songs that is sorely lacking in the ironic affectations of the cool kids with their keyboards of the early 2000s. While those kids have traded in their apathetic melancholy (to quote Micah Schnabel) for acoustic guitars and working class authenticity, Xylos has perfected their brand of music.

Watching them play live is a little magical. All five members are gifted musicians and vocalists. Maybe I've just been subjected to too much mediocre a capella (see my Attic Stairs post), but to watch five people harmonize perfectly while playing their instruments for all they're worth is something truly special.

Also, they tried to sneak me into a concert for the Mercury Lounge. But that's a story for another time.

These first two songs are from their EP, Bedrooms. The last are from their full-length. You can stream both on Spotify.


In The Bedroom
Yellow Flip Flops




Xylos -- Official, Facebook, Spotify

Friday, March 23, 2012

Next 2 The Tracks -- Caballo De Lumbre

Few bands evoke a sense of place in the same way Next 2 The Tracks can. As I listen to their EP, Caballo De Lumbre, I can only think of the cloudless turquoise skies and sun-kissed highways of the band's native Southwest.



Next 2 The Tracks combines powerful pop melodies with some Southwestern swagger and a Latino sensibility. Though their bio cites Led Zeppelin, Guns N Roses, and The Black Crowes as influences, I'd really put the band in solid Roger Clyne territory. Not unlike Jo Wymer, Next 2 The Tracks has taken the core elements of '80s rock -- strong melodies and driving riffs -- and shaped a distinctive voice around it. And from me, that means a lot, because I despise most '80s music.

This is springtime music, meant to be listened to with a Mexican beer in one hand, a taco in the other, and good friends nearby. Those big ol' smiles in their photo are not fake -- I honestly don't think it's possible to stay in a bad mood after listening to Caballo De Lumbre.

Never Fold (Touch Sky)
Earth

Next 2 The Tracks -- Official, Facebook, iTunes

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Hunger Games: Songs From District 12 and Beyond

It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that The Hunger Games' marketing machine is following hot on Twilight's heels. Like that most reprehensible of franchises, someone realized that bank could be made by asking legitimate indie artists to write songs dedicated to the movie. (Corin Tucker's latest release is comprised of songs intended for the New Moon soundtrack but didn't make the cut. A little piece of me dies whenever I reflect upon this fact.)






This collection, produced by T-Bone Burnett, does less to capture the feel of the books themselves. As much as I love most of the music on here, it ultimately feels like a savvy high-schooler's Hunger Games-inspired playlist. Some of the songs are really only relevant due to their title; others are spot-on. The Internets tell me that Burnett set out to create a collection of songs that would be what Appalachian music will sound like 300 years from now. I'm not so sure about that, but I guess that's where the "and Beyond" part of the title comes in.

While some of the other bloggers are falling all over the Kid Cudi track, "The Ruler and the Killer," I found it somewhat baffling and repetitive. The electronic crunch felt out of place among the folk instruments. Also, Taylor Swift's "Eyes Open" is just a Taylor Swift song that stumbled onto the album. I only listened to about ten seconds of it.

The real standout here is the Carolina Chocolate Drops' "Daughter's Lament," a folksong about Katniss herself. It seems to take place after the series concludes -- making it the one song on the album that explicitly invokes the story and styles itself as a folksong from 300 years in the future. It's this added layer of reality to the franchise that gives the song its power.

Honorable mentions: "Abraham's Daughter" -- The Arcade Fire; "Safe & Sound" -- Taylor Swift and the Civil Wars; "One Engine" -- The Decemberists; "Run Daddy Run" -- Miranda Lambert and the Pistol Anns;

Listen for free on Spotify.

Monday, March 19, 2012

FREE MUSIC: The Attic Stairs


There are lots of things that make me proud of my alma mater. Unfortunately, our bands were not one of those things. Granted, we've got plenty of talented musicians. We have more a cappella groups per capita than any college campus on the planet (actually) and a fairly comprehensive music department. But other than a few truly fantastic novelty bands, few have made it past graduation.

 
With any luck, The Attic Stairs will be Haverford's first true breakout band. Dan Wriggins, the band's lead singer, is the consummate folk singer (not to mention an all-around cool dude.) The range of emotions the band conveys belies their relative youth (I believe they're all sophomores.) Thanks to a grant from the Students' Arts Fund and some supplementary cash from IndieGoGo, Dan, Alicia, Martin, Charlie, and Evangeline can deliver their music directly to your ears.

It's clear from this recording and their opening show for Spirit Family Reunion that The Attic Stairs are ready for prime time. Here's hoping that, by the time they graduate, the world will be ready for them.




The Attic Staris -- Facebook, Bandcamp

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Basics: Two Cow Garage

For me, Two Cow Garage is one of those essential bands – the band that serves as a node to other, similar music. Over the past few years, Two Cow Garage has solidified their own, distinctive sound. However, their roots in punk and Americana are still evident in their work. In my estimation, it is Two Cow's unique voice and full-throttled passion that have placed them at the forefront of a small but fruitful community of like-minded artists.

While the cast of players has changed over the years, the band's core is formed by lead singer and guitarist Micah Schnabel and bassist Shane Sweeney, whose solo album made my top three of 2011. They've spent the last ten years or so criss-crossing this nation and several others, flooring crowds with the sheer lifeforce they pour into their live performances. I walked out of my first (and so far only) Two Cow show feeling like it was my first rock concert.

In his brilliant interview with lead singer Micah Schnabel on Mostly Harmless, Damian summarizes the key to the band's appeal:

"They came to life as an explosion before my eyes. The power and the being that they become is a baptism of sweat and fire and PBR. ...Micah and Shane's songs snuck into my psyche and I found my own insecurities echoed through outright and honest and brutal lyrics. I no longer felt so alone in this world."

Though Two Cow Garage's (particularly Micah's) lyrics are often filled with frustration and despair, they are always reinforced with defiance and a determination to live through it all. Each song is a manifesto, an unapologetic declaration of claiming the life you have. Truly, in times like these, it's artists like Shane and Micah who give us the courage to continue. I'll close with some of my favorite lyrics.

“Being afraid of living is just the same as dying” – Glass City

"Don't you ever make the mistake
Of thinking of the past as the good old days
It's a son of a bitch being young
Holding your youth like a loaded gun" -- Folksinger's Heart

"All the bedrooms and battlescars,
Minor chords and pinball hearts,
Cheap tricks and false starts,
The smoke and mirrors act I've  used so well.

Only I can save me from myself,
No woman, no God, and no one else,
Is gonna pick you up and teach you the disappearing act I've used so well." -- Sweet Saint Me

"Forever be
Second stage
When apathetic melancholy was all the rage
There was never any brass ring to be found" -- Brass Ring

"Salvation's not the first word
Just the one that comes to mind
My path isn't perfect
But it's better than waiting around to die.

No heaven above
And no Hell below
No one tending the light
To take you when you go.
A final warning shot.
This is all you've got!
I want this to be yours!" -- Soundtrack to My Summer

Two Cow Garage by Rachel C on Grooveshark

American Rock Mix has a bootleg for your listening pleasure here

Micah Schnabel – Blog
Shane Sweeney – Facebook

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Basics: Soutaisei Riron


Hey, nerds! I can see the links you're clicking on and I know that none of you have donated to the Japan Society yet. So now I am just going to have to guilt you into it.

I am also writing this entry on a bus. The Internet is less than stellar, so today's entry is pretty stripped down. Apologies for the YouTube videos.

Today's band, Soutaisei Riron (The Theory of Relativity) is certainly not your typical Adobe and Teardrops fare. I find them hard to place -- they weave through elctronica, pop, reggae, jazz, and electronica with consummate skill. 

Etsuko Yakushimaru's childish voice can be off-putting at first, but there's no doubt that it merges perfectly with the trance-like music. Even a non-Japanese speaker can figure out that the lyrics rely heavily on repetition. (What you will not figure out is that there are a number of clever puns and rhetorical devices employed in a seemingly simple song.)

Plus, the music makes for oddly compelling workout music.

 

Though Soutaisei Riron is less obscure than Blue Angel, if you like what you hear just drop me an e-mail and I can hook you up.

Soutaisei Riron Official, Myspace

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Basics: Blue Angel

In case you've missed it, this week is Japan Week on Adobe and Teardrops. It's just my small way of honoring the anniversary of the March 11th earthquake. Please donate a few dollars to the survivors.

You probably woke up today and though, "Cool! It's an update day for Adobe and Teardrops! This Japanese music is cool and all but I wish Rachel would get back to posting Americana stuff." And then you read this entry, which is about a rockabilly band called Blue Angel that hails from Tokyo.

I wanted to get a group shot, but the band's website is...subpar. So here's one of bassist Norihiko Enomoto in a rather fine jacket, with lead singer Akiko Urae in the background.


I found out about quite by accident. The city I lived in, Nagoya, is not exactly known for being cool or having a lively arts scene. Or anything, really, except wealthy Toyota executives. So one day when I was in the cheapo shopping district, I found a really amazing record store on a random street in the neighborhood. I spent the majority of my time in this neighborhood, and this was one of the last couple of weeks before I went home. It came to my like a sign.

One of my hobbies while I was in Japan was going to used CD stores and picking out random CDs based on the cover and how ridiculous the band's name was. The only CD I purchased this way that wasn't fucking terrible was Blue Angel's Eden. Which was in the Rockabilly section. Because that's how great this store was -- they only sold music that aligned to my musical tastes. No pop, no hip-hop...if they hadn't had a metal section I would have tried to buy out the entire store.

I was completely tickled by the idea of Japanese rockabilly. There were a bunch of other bands in that section. But, I'll admit it, I went with Blue Angel because I thought Akiko Urae was hot.


I mean...are you really gonna blame me?

And, 25 years later, she and the rest of the band are remarkably well-preserved. However, the novelty of a bunch of Japanese people playing quintessentially American music is not what keeps this band interesting. It's not surprising to me that they're still together -- just from the recording it's easy to see how happy they are playing their music.

I had to jump through several hoops to find the band's official website. I'm afraid there isn't too much information about them out there -- and almost certainly not in English. But I believe it's possible to get their CDs on Amazon. If one were to express interest in the comments section, I could brush off my Japanese and tell you what I find.


君に TRY AGAIN (I'll Try Again For You)
Rock'A Billy Star
Blue Blue Train

Blue Angel Official Site,

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Basics: Sambomaster

This week I'm featuring Japanese bands in an effort to maintain awareness for the recovery efforts in Northern Honshu (the main island of Japan.) The earthquake happened on March 11, almost a year ago. Please donate a few dollars to the Japan Society here.

I'll admit, I was pretty leery when I first saw this band's name. It was on while I was traveling to my semester abroad in Nagoya, the Detroit of Japan. My first reaction was "Hey, they're pretty good. Too bad they'll never make it in America with a name like that." As it turns out, Sambo is actually a type of Russian martial arts. And Sambomaster actually has a decent American following.

If you're American and you know about Sambomaster, it's probably because you watch Naruto. This is an interesting phenomenon, because in almost every single live video of this band I have watched, there are at least three gaijin (foreigners) in the crowd. But Sambomaster is a real band, and had a following before some producer stuck them onto an anime soundtrack.

Unlike the pillows, who are all about writing some truly well-crafted pop songs, Sambomaster has something to say.


While they may look completely unassuming (particularly lead guitarist Takashi Yamaguchi) the band plays with an intensity and passion that would pair them comfortably with many of the artists featured here or on Ninebullets: Cowboy Mouth, Two Cow Garage, Tim Barry, The Alabama Shakes. Really, that would be a dream concert for me right there. They've become popular in a field of musicians whose songs are even more vapid than American pop. Not only do they know how to play their own damn music, but it's so obvious that they actually care. And they know it -- their first album was called Atarashiki Nihongo Rock no Michi to Hikari, or The Light and Pathway to New Japanese Rock.

Here's my favorite track from that album (it's a hard choice.) I also appreciate the Scott Pilgrim-like nature of the video:


The song title translates into "We Will Live Like Flowers That Blooms in the Moonlight." The chorus pretty much epitomizes the band's attitude towards life (feel free to direct complaints about the translation to me):

君の名は必ず叫ぶから                            Because I will always call your name                                       
僕の事 信じちゃくれないか                     Why don't you believe in me?
あふれ出す涙の日々はただ                     Every day my tears overflow              
月に咲く花のように僕ら送ろうぜ              But we will live like flowers that bloom in the moonlight
 
I don't care what you say. It's a Herculean feat to be that poetic and still write an anthem like that -- in any language. And it never hurts to inspire courage in the face of adversity.

It's also fitting to feature Sambomaster this week, because Yamaguchi is from Fukushima Prefecture. He, along with some other artists from the region, wrote a popular song dedicated to Fukushima.

Yamaguchi is known for his intensity and ramblings. In live performances, he'll often stop playing in the middle of a song and start ranting. Here, the song starts about two minutes in. He's speaking too quickly for me to really understand what he's saying, but he's basically telling the crowd how awesome they are.


For more information on the song (and a translation of the lyrics) go here.

The good news is that you can get all of Sambomaster's albums on Amazon for fairly cheap. And if you live near a Book Off, you can probably find it for cheaper.

For those of you who are curious, here's Sambomaster's official site.

And don't forget to donate to the Earthquake Relief Fund.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Basics: the pillows

A year ago today, an earthquake ripped through Northern Honshu, the main island in Japan. It was followed by a devastating tsunami that took out many of the impoverished fishing villages and rural towns in the North. While the rebuilding process has certainly allowed for exciting opportunities for innovation and social experimentation, Japan was in bad shape before the earthquake, and she still needs our help. Please donate to the Japan Society's Earthquake Relief Fund here.

This week, I'll be featuring some of my favorite Japanese artists on the site. Because Japanese culture is not just anime, porn, and anime porn (also known as hentai.)

However, for most nerdlings, anime is a gateway into Japanese culture. If you're familiar with the pillows, it's probably because you watched FLCL, an anime that was incomprehensibly surreal even by anime fans' standards.



I actually never really watched FLCL. But I loved the soundtrack, which was almost exclusively songs by veteran pop-punk band, the pillows. The first time I went to Japan, I made it my quest to find myself some pillows CDs.



It's easy to see The Pixies' influence on the band. In fact, "Back Seat Dog" directly lifts the bassline from "Here Comes Your Man." (They acknowledge it towards the end of the song.) It's hard not to enjoy these songs -- even if you don't speak Japanese, the songs should be able to make you feel happy and nostalgic -- like most Japanese pop. And you shouldn't worry if you don't understand what they're saying -- I promise you the pillows' lyrics make about as much sense as FLCL, which is to say, not at all. Try something new. And while you're at it, help someone in Japan out.


The Pillows by Rachel C on Grooveshark

the pillows official (English), official (Japanese)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Jonathan Segel -- All Attractions

Back in 1985, David Barbe of Mercyland sang,

A three-man band is bound by natural limitations. 
How bound must we be?
Is there a rule that says we bank on imitation
And limit songs to only three
Minutes and parts, that is?

Jonathan Segel has an answer to that question.


I am completely unfamiliar with Segel's work in Camper Van Beethoven. All I know about that band is that David Lowery is in it, and, frankly, he seems like kind of a douche. So kudos to Segel to putting up with him, I guess. In the interest of transparency, this album ended up in my inbox for "editorial consideration," and I'm really glad it did.

Only one song in this album clocks in at 3 minutes, and that's the shortest one of the lot. I don't know what kind of music he plays with his other projects, but here Segel states rather emphatically that rock songs -- even catchy ones -- don't have to be short to be sweet.

I've never been one for jam bands, but I've felt that rock and roll doesn't always need to be so curt in order to pack a punch. Segel manages to find the balance between self-indulgent noodling and legitimate musical exploration. The songs float across genres, and the theme that unites them -- searching for that one person who understands you -- is eloquently expressed without sounding hackneyed or corny. For this, Segel deserves a huge round of applause for risking -- and attaining -- what many rock'n'rollers shy away from: an emotionally honest, deeply adventurous, and profoudnly satisfying album. And since the digital download is only $5, that's definitely money well-spent.

(Ever And) Always
Hey You (I Know You Know Me)
Singularity

Jonathan Segel -- Official, Facebook, Bandcamp, CD Baby
---

Sorry for the late update, y'all! Starting THIS week, Adobe and Teardrops will now be updating on Sundays, MONDAYS (new!), Wednesdays, and Fridays. This week I'll feature Japanese bands in memory of last year's tsunami/earthquake.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

FREE MUSIC: High Dive

High Dive is a queer punk band from Bloomington, Indiana.


This shouldn't be an especially shocking sentence in this day and age, and to most of you it probably isn't. But here's a question for you: how many openly queer artists under the age of 40 can you name -- particularly in punk? Beth Ditto? Anyone else? What about male-identified artists?

Unless my ear is pressed to the wrong part of the ground (which is entirely possible) queer punk, like queer activism in general, fizzled away in the face of the Bush administration. Sure, we have successful campaigns for marriage equality and we've overturned DADT (for now) but compared to the injustices LGBTQ Americans face in the civilian world -- rampant employment discrimination and a blind eye to hate crimes -- these movements are merely cosmetic.

Similarly, there have been numerous artists in recent years who have come out but have managed to downplay this aspect of their identities -- Tegan and Sarah, Brandi Carlile, and Lady Gaga come to mind. On the other hand, Chely Wright's outing was controversial -- precisely because her core audience (and record labels) could not see past its own bigotry. Note that there are no men or trans-identified individuals mentioned here. While it's great that most artists no longer need to be ghetto-ized into the queer music scene in order to be out in their work, I take the Rachel Maddow approach to being out: you're really doing more harm than good by remaining closeted. And closeted people are boring (I mean, really. You should have met me in high school.)

So when I asked High Dive if they wanted to be identified as queer, I was pleased -- perhaps selfishly -- by their response: they told me they wanted to be known as a queer punk band because they wanted to write the songs they wished they had heard as teenagers. They pull it off. I wish I had had these songs as a teenager. High Dive is warm, courageous, and current -- a far cry from the isolation and frustrations of '90s queercore and riot grrl, which was all I had to go on in the early aughts.

But there is still anger here -- and that anger is well-placed. As "Tennessee" points out, things really aren't that bad. There's been a lot in the last twenty years that has enabled queer punk discourse to move from hardcore to pop punk. But we are still persecuted and silenced -- in all too many instances to the point of suicide.

This is why I think "Tennessee" is the standalone track off the album. Not only does it encapsulate what the band stands for, it also captures the current mood of the LGBTQ community: sadness, disappointment, and courage -- because the light at the end of the tunnel is well within our reach.

You can download the album for whatever price you choose, but I recommend chipping in five bucks. Let's make queer music for a new generation into a Thing.



Buy High Dive
High Dive Official 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Basics: Roger Clyne


Hey, there, sportsfans. Now that I'll no longer by taking classes (woot!) and having real person hours (awww) I'm going to change the update schedule starting NEXT week. Mondays will be added. But to tide you over through the weekend, I figured on Sundays I'd start on a new column called The Basics. I already started this a ways back when in my article about Cowboy Mouth. But I haven't really had a chance to continue it. Suffice to say, The Basics will be about artists who don't necessarily have anything new out, but I think you should know about them anyway.

In a way, this column also traces my musical chronology. I'm going to start with the bands that have informed my musical taste (and, thus, what you read on this blog.) After Cowboy Mouth, my next stop on the alt-country path was Roger Clyne and his various projects.

In my Cowboy Mouth article, I complained that I was too young to enjoy nineties college rock. But there was at least one advantage to being a teenager in the aughts: the proliferation of Internet radio. Yahoo! used to have a service that was pretty great, and then I migrated to Pandora. Both services pointed me to Roger Clyne's first band, the Refreshments.

You have heard The Refreshments. If you listened to the radio in the nineties, then you heard "Banditos," an infectious rocker about holding up a Circle K. If you have any taste in comedy at all, then you watch King of the Hill, whose theme song is courtesy of the band's second album, The Bottle and Fresh Horses. They became popular shortly after fellow Tempe, AZ's The Gin Blossoms' success. The Refreshments had a decidedly more twangy sound to them. On "Tributary Otis" you can hear the label exec's attempt to shoehorn them into the Gin Blossoms' sound. I'm not surprised that this was the last Refreshments album.

Roger Clyne by Rachel C on Grooveshark

This band basically characterized my entire high school experience. Roger Clyne's good-natured cynicism was perfect for A) a teenager who B) came of age during the surreal ironies of post-9/11. Sure, things sucked and life is hard, but if you shrug your shoulders and look for the good times, you might see it through. But then there are those dark moments, like "Nada" or "Birds Sing", where you have to give in to your despair. The fact that songs like that could co-exist with "Wanted" or "Banditos" helped me avoid a lot of teen angst. In my senior year of high school, some friends of mine and I choreographed a line dance to "Wanted." We had props. It was awesome. And we got gym credit for it.

Roger Clyne -- in both The Refreshments and his subsequent band, The Peacemakers -- combines deft wordplay with eminently catchy riffs. The music might be palatable, but the his lyrics are just as powerful as they are humorous. "Switchblade" always sends chills up my spine, at least. In my opinion, The Peacemakers have peaked with their 2004 release, Americano! I closed with the lead song off the album to show Roger's growth as a singer-songwriter: while it treats the same subject matter as "Banditos," it shows a clear progression since his first hit.

And for funsies, here's a video of The Peacemakers and Cowboy Mouth performing together at a concert I would have given my right arm to be at.

   

Friday, March 2, 2012

Roxie Watson -- Of Milestones and Moon Pie

Real talk: I started this blog because I knew this album would be coming out and I wanted everyone in the universe to know about it. (So, like, all 20-40 of you regular visitors.) I wondered how I could spread the word about Roxie Watson, and then I realized any idiot could start a blog. And here we are.

I've talked about Roxie Watson a few times before. More specifically, I wrote about Sonia Tetlow, who plays banjo on the album. All five members of this "alterna-grass" band pull songwriting duty.


Roxie Watson is essentially a supergroup of veterans from the Atlanta women's rock scene -- they recently opened for the Indigo Girls and Amy Ray. The experience they've had accompanying each other -- in addition to their natural chemistry -- is clear on all of their songs. The quintet sings and plays as if they're of one mind.

The album itself emphasizes hope and strength in the face of all odds. Goodness knows we could all use that extra strength right now. However, Roxie Watson never comes off as strident or earnest. It's as if you had some of your old friends hanging out on your porch -- an affect I know the band was trying for and ultimately succeeded them. We've got songs about coal mining, break ups, love, and Georgia's ridiculous blue laws. (Though I gotta say, it's hard to top Pennsylvania when it comes to arbitrary rules about the sale of alcohol.)

But this album. Lie on the bed. Hit play. Close your eyes. Think of the good times you've had and the better times you're about to have. That's what Roxie Watson wants you to do. This album is the perfect medicine for a wounded heart.

Sunday Beer
Hide Hide Hide
Home Again

Roxie Watson -- OfficialFacebook, CDBaby